Srb-biofilm Influence in Active Corrosion Sites Formed at Steel-electrolyte Interface When Exposed to Artificial Seawater

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Publication Date

Spring 2008


Electrochemical evolution of the interface formed by carbon steel exposed to artificial seawater with nutrients in the presence and absence of mixed cultures that contain sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) is characterized by electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS). The artificial seawater in sterile conditions progressively covered the surface of the steel sample with two different layers after 30 days of exposure. An outer layer is formed by a mixture of chlorides and phosphorus-based iron corrosion products with organic compounds from the culture media, and an inner layer is formed by corrosion products mixture constituted mainly by phosphorus-base products. Alternatively, under biotic conditions there was one heterogeneous layer composed by a mixture of phosphorous and sulfur-based corrosion products and biofilm. Three time constants were observed with EIS for sterile conditions. At low frequencies one constant is associated with the charge transfer resistance related to the iron dissolution reaction and inversely proportional to the active area; the porous resistance magnitudes at medium frequencies characterized the physicochemical properties of the inner layer, and high frequency described the electrical properties of the outer mixture layer. Low carbon steel in the presence of SRB (halophilic hydrogenotrophic) showed the impedance distribution after the formation of a corrosion product thick black layer mixed with organic composites and bio-entities. The SRB-biofilm enhanced the corrosion rate and influenced the appearance of diffusion controlled mechanism process. Electrical passive analogs in terms of constant phase elements characterized the evolution of the cover films formed and the impedance of the layers with time. The mechanisms are characterized based on the impedance response for three time constants in the absence of SRB and one time constant with a finite Warburg element when SRB are present in the electrolyte. The validation of the theoretical approximation with electrical analogs was in good agreement with the experimental results.





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